Mukesh Ambani: India's 100 bn population will ensure prosperity

Feb 11 2013, 11:18 IST
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Mukesh Ambani (AP) Mukesh Ambani (AP)
Summary'I am very bullish because it is really aspiration of billion people and our country is where all billion count.'

Reposing faith in India's vibrant democracy, Reliance Industries' (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani today exuded optimism over the country's long-term growth saying its 100 billion people, each one of whom is a part of the system, will ensure prosperity with their aspirations.

"I am very bullish on India because it is really the aspiration of a billion people and ours is a county where all the billion count. There are some countries in the world where one person counts, there are some where the Politburo or 12 people count.

ďThe Treaty of India is that all our billion people count and they have aspirations," Ambani said in an interview to a news channel.

Stating that the India's story is a "really a bottom-up" one and not the other-way round, he said, "We are on long-term growth trajectory and this is just not growth in terms of GDP numbers, this is really for well being of each and every Indian and that's the aspiration."

However, it is not just India, Ambani is also bullish on the prospect of other economies like China and European Union and the US.

"I think that China is maintaining steady growth, it is not decelerating. Europe has found its own transition path and they will transgress through the financial system in an orderly way and it is my expectation. India has had some slow growth. But, I am very optimistic on India," he said.

On the US, he said, "I am more optimistic than the most. My view is that this year, we will see the beginning of a recovery, particularly in the US. There has been a fundamental transformation in the energy scene in the US."

To a question on growing inequality in India, the richest Indian said, "If you think about inequality that is not only a problem in our country, it's really a problem for all across the world. Income comes from opportunities."

Taking a cue from the story of RIL, he said the company has gone a long way in improving the lives of its shareholders since the days when his father Dhirubhai started the business with a paltry USD 100.

"...when I joined Reliance in 1980, the market value of RIL was USD 30-40 million and in 30 years, the opportunities that were provided by this country has enabled us to create wealth for India," he said.

"My father was a big believer that any business that has the sole purpose of making money is not worthwhile. Business must serve a larger societal purposes. RIL raised all its money from the capital markets and from the individual small shareholders. So, we have created a million millionaires just by investing in RIL out of the ordinary Indians and that is the process of creating wealth for the country," Ambani said.

Asked whether he himself thought he has a special responsibility to bring in equality, he answered in the affirmative.

"Yes, of course. I have really my father as my role model and he started off with nothing. One of things he said to me that you really don't know, Mukesh, what it is to be poor and make sure that you maintain everybody's self-respect."

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